Garages are one of the more versatile spaces in a home, with ability to become anything from an auto workshop to a home gym. Regardless of how you decide to use the space, one thing that is certain is that the cold concrete garage floor will need some kind of upgrade. Even if your garage simply houses your vehicles, it can be a major benefit to install a garage floor that resists chemical damage or insulates room temperature. Regardless of the flooring type, any option that requires professional installation will prove itself expensive, time consuming, and stressful. Opting instead for a DIY garage floor is a great way to keep control in your own hands, and you will likely end up with a flooring that is fast and affordable without having to skimp on quality.
There are three major types of DIY flooring for a garage and countless individual options, so it is vital to weigh out their strengths and weaknesses of each option in order to choose the right garage floor for your specific needs. Painted coatings are a quick way to give the flooring an attractive upgrade, while garage floor coverings like rolled mats and interlocking tiles can add insulation and protection. Whether your priorities are comfort, aesthetics, safety, or all of the above, there is a garage flooring that is perfect for you.
Paint coatings are one of the more permanent garage floor options, and there are several different kinds to choose from. Concrete stains, sealers, and epoxy are some of the most popular garage floors, but to ensure proper installation you must first prep the existing floor. Garage floorings usually have concrete by default, which can mean a number of imperfections.
Prepping your concrete garage floor for a coating can be a tedious and sometimes expensive process. Cracks and holes must be filled, and the surface must be level and deep-cleaned before installing the painted floor. Garage surfaces that are stained from motor oil can also become an issue if you choose a transparent coating such as a sealer or stain. If your garage floor is already in great shape, these types of floors can help to preserve that condition. However, you should be aware that coated flooring for a garage cannot protect against abrasions and impacts.
Another important factor to consider before installing a coated garage flooring is the moisture in the area. Garages are considerably closer to the outdoors than the rest of the home, making them prone to outside moisture. The moisture could be caused by humidity, leaks, or even from the ground itself. Moisture is able to rise up through a concrete garage floor, keeping the surface consistently damp.
Surface coatings simply will not last when they are installed on a damp floor. Garage coatings will delaminate from the moisture, causing them to chip and flake off instead of adhering properly. This can make the garage flooring look even worse than it did before, and removing or replacing a coated floor can be extremely difficult. If moisture is a persistent problem in your home or garage, it is best to skip over the idea of a floor coating and instead install a garage floor covering.
There are two types of garage floor covering—rolled mats and interlocking tiles. Rolled rubber mats make excellent flooring for a garage because they are easy to install and can act as a protective barrier to protect your subfloor. Rubber garage mats can be anywhere from 1/8-inch to two inches thick, depending on your preference. This gives the garage flooring excellent resistances to impact, abrasion, and vibration, which are all absorbed by the thick rubber.
Rubber garage mats are particularly great if you want to repurpose your garage into a room such as a home gym or office. There are many different types of garage floor mats to choose from, ensuring a match for any needs. There are mats with traction enhancing surface textures, liquid-drainage holes, anti-fatigue qualities, and even different colors for you to choose from. If you’re creating a home gym, there are flexible rubber garage floors that will lessen the impact of falls. If you’re turning it into an extra room, rubber floors enhance traction and insulate temperature.
Rolled garage mats also have an effortless installation process. In most cases, you can just roll out the flooring and cut any excess edges to fit. The thick garage mats will be held down by their own weight, making adjustments to the floor extremely easy. If you want a more secure fit for your garage floor covering, you can use double-sided carpet tape or a polyurethane based adhesive.
The other type of garage floor covering is a modular floor made up of rubber or vinyl interlocking tiles. Like roll-out garage floors, interlocking tiles are easy to install and add a protective barrier to safeguard your subfloor. What sets them apart, however, is the possibility for personalization.
A modular garage floor is made up of individual tiles that can connect in one of a few different ways. Some are shaped like puzzle pieces that easily snap together, while others connect seamlessly with the use of pins. In either case, adhesives are usually unnecessary. Because you connect the floor yourself, you can use different colors to create a unique design or even a classic checkerboard pattern. This also makes it incredibly easy to repair or replace your garage floor. Individual tiles can be pulled up and replaced if necessary, without having to disrupt the entire flooring. This is a major advantage over roll-out garage floors, which would have to be cut apart or removed entirely.
Interlocking tiles are also similar to rolled mats in the fact that there are many different kinds to choose from. You can still have a garage floor with cushioning, drainage holes, or a textured surface when you decide to go with a modular flooring. The best part of tiled garage flooring is that it’s only as permanent as you want it to be; the floor can be removed as easy as it is installed, and you can even pick up the floor and take it with you if you move.
Coated floors are a good choice under specific conditions, but they are beat out by the speed, convenience, and protection you get with a garage floor covering. With both garage mats and interlocking tiles, you have complete control over everything, from the color of the material to how much floor is covered. You could use these types of flooring to create a comfortable walkway or to protect the concrete underneath your vehicle from motor oils. The possibilities are endless, with a garage floor option to fit any budget, any aesthetic, and any needs.